Riot police and over 2,000 arrests: A look at 2 weeks of campus protests

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from The Washington Post,

In the 15 days since police arrested dozens of Columbia University students protesting Israel’s military bombardment of Gaza, officers have cleared similar encampments at colleges and universities around the nation. On a scale not seen in decades on college campuses, students and faculty demonstrations have led to more than 2,000 arrests.

What began as the student arm of pro-Palestinian demonstrations has grown into a nationwide movement, drawing attention to campuses that are thick with tensions not only over the war but also over whether the protesters, in trying to further their cause, are creating distractions or even dangers for other students.

Most protesters, whose actions have ranged from gathering for daytime chants to pitching encampments in the heart of campus to occupying university buildings, have demanded schools cut ties with businesses linked to Israel, part of a broader movement that has intensified since its invasion of Gaza after Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel.

President Biden on Thursday forcefully urged demonstrators to remain peaceful and rejected the idea of sending the National Guard. The protests have “put to the test two fundamental American principles,” Biden said. “The first is the right to free speech and for people to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard. The second is the rule of law. Both must be upheld.”

At times, protesters have expressed extreme views, including calling for the end of the Jewish state. “There is only one solution: intifada, revolution,” protesters at George Washington University in D.C. chanted last week.

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